Workers’ Compensation Insurance in New York
There’s no way around it: it’s the law and penalties for non-compliance are steep. The New York State Workers Compensation Board (NYSWCB) has complex rules about who is and isn’t covered by the law, who is an employee versus independent contractor, out-of-state employers working in NY, and more. It can be confusing, especially for new businesses. If your eyes glaze over when you hear phrases like stop loss and experience modification factor, HCP can help with straight talk and actionable guidance.
What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
This is a mandatory form of liability insurance that can protect your business in the event of employee injury. It protects your business 3 ways:
- Helps pay for employee medical expenses and missed wages. Some policies have a death benefit for fatal injuries.
- Covers your legal expenses if you’re sued for an injury your policy doesn’t cover.
- Helps keep you in compliance with New York State Workers’ Compensation Law.
Work injuries also cost you in the form of lost productivity. Without insurance, that loss is multiplied by employee medical expenses and missed wages.
- Medical services needed to treat the job-related injury or illness.
- Temporary disability payments to the employee to help replace lost wages.
- Permanent disability payments to the employee to compensate for permanent effects of the injury.
- A death benefit for the employee’s survivors in the event of a fatal injury.
- Legal representation for the employer by the insurance carrier.
- Protection for the employer against most lawsuits for on-the-job injuries/illnesses.
- Self-inflicted Injuries
- Off-the-job injuries
- Injuries caused by intoxication or drugs
- Injuries caused by a violation of company policy
- Injuries claimed after an employee is fired or laid off
- OSHA fines
Who needs Workers Compensation Insurance in New York?
New York workers’ compensation insurance law requires that virtually all employers in the state must provide workers’ compensation coverage. That includes part-time employees, borrowed employees, leased employees, family members, volunteers working for a for-profit business, and domestic workers employed forty or more hours per week by the same employer. There are very few exceptions, such as ordained, commissioned or licensed ministers, priests and rabbis; sole proprietors and independent contractors. If you’re not sure, ask HCP. We’ll help you navigate the complexities.
The top ten riskiest industries for workplace injuries and illnesses in 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics were:
- Healthcare and social assistance
- Accommodation and Food Services
- Transportation and warehousing
- Wholesale Trade
- Administrative and waste services
- Professional and technical services
- Arts, entertainment and recreation
Four professions make up 20% of total workers’ comp injuries: Police/Security officers, Nursing Aides/Orderlies/Attendants, Janitors/Cleaners, and Tractor-Trailer/Heavy Truck drivers.